Indonesia: Teens Whipped For Cuddling

From the AFP via Mail Online:
Two teenagers have been whipped 17 times each after spending months in jail because they were caught hugging in Indonesia’s Aceh province.

A female university student and her boyfriend, both 18, were handed the sentence under strict Sharia law in the province, which forbids intimate displays in public.

The pair were marched on to a stage in front of a mosque in the provincial capital of Banda Aceh before being struck across the back with a bamboo cane.

Aceh is the only province in Indonesia which follows a strict code of Sharia Law, which includes punishments such as caning for public acts which are deemed to be indecent

Afterward, Banda Aceh deputy mayor Zainal Arifin said: ‘People outside of Aceh who think Islamic Sharia is cruel can now see that it is actually very tolerant and humane.’

Hundreds of spectators gathered to watch the punishment being carried out.

A 35-year-old man was also flogged with a rattan cane for being intimate with a woman – aged 40 – in a local grocery store.

On Thursday, the 40-year-old woman pleaded to be caned in order to get out of jail, but a medical team postponed her flogging after they deemed her physically unfit.

All four had served several months in prison.

Aceh is the only province in the world’s biggest Muslim majority country that imposes Islamic law.

Rights groups slam public caning as cruel, and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has called for it to end.

But the practice has wide support among Aceh’s mostly Muslim population – around 98 percent of its five million residents practise Islam….

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